Where can you buy an ambassador if you want one of your very own?

In a Times opinion piece today, Mattathias Schwartz tells a good, i.e., bad story about how American presidents have sold ambassadorships. Although a lot of us became familiar with Trump’s pal Gordon Sondland during the impeachment hearings, there are a number of, um, colorful and deeply irritating incidents involving other US ambassadors which I, for one, had not known about until now.

In his essay, Schwartz quotes a retired career Foreign Service officer, Dennis Jett, who has written a book, American Ambassadors. If Jett’s quotes are representative of his storytelling, I do want to read his book.

We’re the only country in the world that does business in this way…Nobody else has an open market on ambassadorships. If we really believed in capitalism, we would list these postings on eBay.

Would you want a campaign contributor to be the captain of an aircraft carrier?…Obviously not. This is a national security issue.

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